Made In Dagenham - Etched In Laughter - Viewed With Love - Page 2
I’ve read an interview with Miranda Richardson about her role and realise that she worked incredibly hard to evoke the face, voice and character of a person whom she never knew.
I can tell her that as an extraordinarily gifted person in her own field, Castle was also a deeply complex and immeasurably difficult personality. Certainly she was nowhere near as “nice” as the engaging woman, happy to gossip about fashion, we see on screen.
Indeed, she once gave a recorded interview to someone I knew and then denied the contents in public. The incident was handled ineptly and with great ill-temper as the journalist involved did not have the wit to understand what had happened. Mrs Castle – also a former journalist - was her own best publicity machine and knew that to deny a story was the best way to maximise it. It had no bearing, as was claimed later, on anything any Opposition M.P. may have said or done.
Psychologically, the incident was probably among innumerable petty reprises of a huge affair during her great political days when she made a failed attempt to reduce the powers of the British Trade Unions in her 1969 White Paper, In Place of Strife.
Unlike 1968, when she was able to persuade the unions of the injustice women faced at work, she was viewed as deceitful, because an attempt to undermine the power of the unions was to bite the hand which had fed her. It also led directly to her political downfall and also to that of the Labour Party of the period although when published, the final bill was bereft of its most contentious clauses.
The real-life women strikers are seen – in classic Cole fashion – during the final credits. The film is their everlasting tribute but so is the Equal Pay Act as without them, it may not have been written – not then and not in that way.